THE FIRST 100 YEARS
17/12/1852 – 26/01/1934
At the time of the Founding of the Lodge in 1909, George Redwood was Provincial Grand Secretary of Surrey. In December 1918, he was appointed Deputy Provincial Grand Master, a post he held until 1934 when he died suddenly after an accident. References in the book, ’The History of Freemasonry in the Province of Surrey’ show him to have been a firm traditionalist when it came to what was acceptable and what was not. For a substantial period during his tenure of office he was Deputy to Edward Prince of Wales who was the Provincial Grand Master.
Describing the story of a Masonic Lodge, like many other institutions involving a changing membership over time, is not an easy task. The meeting venue may change, the membership constantly evolves and the world surrounding moves on. It is, of course, based on a Masonic structure and ritual but balanced against this are countless human perceptions, relationships, expectations and memories. It has been said that something lives only as long as the last person who remembers it.
With this in mind, we trust that brethren in years to come, will read this short story and gain an insight into both its roots and the predecessors who built the tradition that is Redwood Lodge.
W Bro G.E.Anstead, PPAGSwdB. Secretary of Redwood Lodge 3411.
My sincere thanks to the current secretary of the Lodge, W Bro. Gary Anstead,
for his help and assistance in providing much of the records and paperwork needed to formulate this short history. (We are most fortunate in that all of the original minute books and registers are still in existence.) This small work can only be considered as the siftings of countless references and items of information which have been ground down to form the salient features which hopefully will capture the interest of the reader.
In the past, at suitable landmarks, a number of worthy brethren have seen fit to record summaries of the progress and development of Redwood together with references to various ‘characters’ numbered in the membership of the time. I make no apology for drawing on some of these rich sources of material.
In the early part of the 20th century, a committee comprised of W Bros. H.Overton, W.H.Hills, P.Waite, H.Clay and G.S.Oxburgh produced a summary of the formative years whilst in 1959, at the halfway point W Bro. S.A.L.Green continued the story. W Bros.W.G.E.Oram and A.H.Bixley continued up to the 75th anniversary.
We are indebted to these brethren, all of whom have now passed from time to eternity for their forethought and hard work.
W.Bro.A.R.Perry, PAGDC, PPDepGReg.
THE FOUNDERS OF REDWOOD LODGE
W Bro. W Shackleton, PGStB.
W Bro. E H Lewis, PPGStB.
W Bro. F Lockett, PPAGDC.
W Bro. A Lyon, PPGStB.
W Bro. R Shaw.
W Bro. W M Hill.
W Bro. Major H J Smalley.
W Bro. T H Adkins.
Bro. The Rev A E Shewring.
Bro. J Richardson
Bro. A Laing.
Bro. W F Rayner.
Bro. W Emerson.
Bro. C T Owen.
Bro. G R Cawley.
Bro. J Wyatt.
Bro. A W Hardy.
Bro. W H Hills.
Bro. E W B Howe.
Bro. J A Hunt.
Bro. C F Arrowsmith.
Bro. S A Hardstone.
Bro. E H Dicks.*
Bro. T White.
Bro. W Goddard.
*Died 10th December 1909, four days prior to the Consecration. Nine of the Founders went through the Chair. E H Lewis was the Primus Master, W M Hill was the first Treasurer, W F Rayner first Secretary and F Locket the first Director of Ceremonies.
LUMEN SEVIMUS ANTIQUE
(We spread the light as of old)
Redwood Lodge, the 50th to be consecrated in the Province of Surrey, perpetuates the name of W Bro.George.H.Redwood. This seems to have been the idea of two of the Founders, Bro.Capt.John Wyatt and Bro.William Harry Hills, both of whom were members of Noel Lodge No. 2444. George Redwood kindly presented the Lodge with a banner depicting the new lodge crest which incorporates the Redwood family shield and Latin motto. The translation seems most appropriate for a Masonic Lodge.
W Bro.George, although an Honorary member of the Lodge from the start, (he acted as ADC for the Consecration) also became a joining member in 1910.
The Petition was presented to Grand Lodge under the auspices of the Dormer Lodge No.2222. The family tree can be traced back through 1981 Arnold Lodge, 1638 Brownrigg, 889 Dobie, 820 Lily Lodge of Richmond to 255 Lodge of Harmony in 1785.
During the last Century, Redwood gave life to no less than five daughter lodges: 4922 Lumen, 5543 Glenmore, 7097 Moreford, 8733 Lamborn and 9272 Hale, all of whom are functioning today.
The Redwood Consecration took place at the Sun Hotel, Kingston upon Thames on Tuesday 14th December 1909. The Consecrating Master was the Deputy Grand Master of Surrey, W.Bro.J.D.Langton PGD, the Provincial Grand Master himself being unavailable owing to Judicial duties elsewhere. In fact, the PGM, Rt.W.Bro.Mr Justice Bucknill, attended the Installation meeting of the second Master, Bro. The Rev.A.E.Shewring the following year. The PGM must have been impressed as the following year he appointed W Bro.Shewring Provincial Grand Chaplain. This was Redwood’s first Provincial Honour.
There were twenty five founders comprising eight Past Masters and seventeen Master Masons. At the first Regular meeting in January 1910 with the Founding Master W Bro.E.H.Lewis in the Chair, six candidates were initiated and a further eight joining members were added to the roll of membership. One of these first initiates was George Oxburgh who, over the next few decades became one of the ‘giants’ of the lodge.
The Sun Hotel became the regular meeting place for a short while until a move to the Surbiton Assembly Rooms. At about this time, a change in the bye-laws (1913) caused the Installation meeting to be moved to January and the December meeting to move to November. This format still exists today.
The relocation to the Assembly rooms was short lived, however, as they were now requisitioned for the billeting of troops involved with the Great War.
THE FIRST WORLD WAR
Although no meetings were lost during the 1914/18 period, many members had difficulty with a regular attendance owing to military and other associated duties. The venue oscillated between the Sun Hotel and Nutthall’s restaurant in Kingston. Perhaps surprisingly, the membership which had stood at forty six at the end of 1913, had reached ninety by the end of 1918. Almost half of this number were serving in HM forces. It is noted that a Motion was put forward in 1917 to restrict the membership to eighty. The Proposal was defeated.
Since the early days the Lodge had been subscribing with zeal to the Masonic charities like the RMIB, but in July of 1918, the brethren resolved to become a Founding Lodge of the Freemasons Hospital and Nursing Home.
As might be expected, with the cessation of hostilities receding into the past and the Lodge maturing after a decade in existence, we entered a reasonably settled but nevertheless exciting period of development. The ceremony of Installation was regularly accompanied by Initiations on the same evening, and during the next ten years the membership grew to over one hundred and fifty.
In 1919 the Lodge held its first Ladies’ Festival in London and its success guaranteed that it would be perpetuated to this day.
In 1920, the lodge voted to invest £100 in the Masonic Hall Company in Surbiton and appointed Bro.Col.H.Clay as its representative on the Board of Directors. The following year, the Lodge moved its meetings to Glenmore house and we have been there ever since. (There was a notable but unexplained exception to this in January 1922. The Installation of W Bro.Popperwell was held at the Holborn Restaurant in London. This is the only time that the Lodge is recorded as meeting outside the Province.)
It was also in the memorable year of 1921 that the Petition for the formation of Redwood Chapter was forwarded and sanctioned by Supreme Grand Chapter. The Consecration ceremony was performed by Canon Turner in June.
Having begun to involve the ladies with the Festival Ball and now meeting in a fine building with large lawns and gardens, it was not surprising that the Lodge decided to hold a summer function. The first Garden Party picnic in the grounds took place on the 29th July 1925 and a picture of the large number present is included in this booklet. This function remained for many years alongside the Winter Ball in London. Those using Glenmore House today will only know the grounds as the car park.
During the 1920’s our first Daughter Lodge was sponsored. ‘Lumen Lodge’ No.4922, which had failed in its first attempt in 1922 was finally granted a warrant in 1927. In the following year, the bye-laws were amended to eliminate the regular July meeting to allow brethren more flexibility with private holiday arrangements.
During this period, the Lodge continued to expand even though losses were now beginning to be part of the equation. By 1930, the twenty first birthday year, membership had reached one hundred and fifty four. Soon after this, the Primus Master W.Bro.E.H.Lewis and another founder of note, W.Bro.W.R.Hill the long standing Treasurer, passed away. Of special poignancy for the Lodge was the death in 1934 of W.Bro.G.H.Redwood PGD., Deputy Prov.G.M. George had visited the Lodge many times since the Consecration.
In 1935 our second Daughter Lodge, ‘Glenmore’ No.5543 was consecrated.
The late 1930’s saw the start of the Second World War which exacted more calls on both the lives of the members and the routine of the Lodge than had been experienced some years earlier.
WORLD WAR 2, 1939-1945.
Grand Lodge placed a moratorium on all regular meetings and other associated functions immediately. Fortunately, this edict was rescinded fairly quickly but not before Redwood had lost the September meeting. This was the first of the only three meeting lost and all were in a September. Timings changed for much of the war though. Most meetings took place on a Saturday afternoon starting at about 2.30pm. No doubt many of the brethren were engaged in such activities as fire auxiliaries, medics and the Home Guard during the evenings. The Festive Board was often a very light buffet and regrettably all the usual social functions involving the ladies were cancelled for the duration. Rationing and the advent of ‘coupons’ clearly placed restrictions on food and also on dress. Apart from service uniform brethren had to make do with what they had available and this did not include white gloves.
Grand Lodge asked all Masons to support the War effort by surrendering as many Masonic Jewels as their conscience would allow. There is no record of the response from Redwood but the National Treasury received a donation from the Craft in general.
The Luxor Lodge No. 341 of Melbourne Australia exhibited a practical application of the Principles of Masonry by sending many food parcels to the Lodge. After hostilities had ended, the brethren of Redwood sent an antique silver loving cup to the Luxor Lodge with grateful thanks. (Perhaps a brother reading this will take up the challenge and trace it?)
It is interesting to note that despite the vicissitudes of the times, at the Installation of W.Bro.G.H.Knight in January 1943 eighty were present and two years later when W.Bro.T.J.Chrome took the Chair, one hundred and twenty brethren attended.
An interesting episode also took place in August 1945 which involved the Lodge invoking Rule 160 0f the Book of Constitutions. An Emergency Meeting was called even though the Lodge was due for a Regular meeting two weeks later in September. The only item on the agenda was the Initiation of George James Cotton Hambling, D.S.C., R.N.V.R, as his ship, HMS ‘Frobisher’ was due to sail almost immediately on a two year posting. George was actually abroad for many years before returning to become a leading light in Redwood.
THE POST WAR YEARS.
It was soon after the end of the war the Grand Lodge began to issue guidelines to assist lodges to return to Masonic normality. Dark suits, black shoes and ties, white collars and by the early 1950’s, white gloves returned.
1951 was a most important year in our history for this was when the Redwood Class of Instruction was formed. This would have had the effect of binding the brethren together more closely as well as helping to ensure the continuance of good ritual in our ceremonies. During this year, we sponsored our third Daughter Lodge in the name of ‘Moreford’, No. 7097.
There were also some sad losses at this time, W.Bro.John Stroud, an absolute pillar of society as described in the Surrey Comet newspaper, passed away. He had been Treasurer of the Lodge for eighteen years and had worked alongside and acted as a foil to the vigorous Secretary and Preceptor W.Bro.George Oxburgh at the table in the North of the Temple. Sadly, ‘OXO’ Oxburgh also died within two years.
As we approached our Jubilee Celebrations in 1959, Redwood was able to record a proud tradition of support to the enduring Masonic Charities. Patron of the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls and the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution, as well as a Founding Lodge and Patron of the Royal Masonic Hospital and a Vice-Patron of the Royal Masonic Institution for Boys.
The Jubilee Celebration meeting took place on 16th December 1959 and was attended by one hundred and twenty five persons including W.Bro.Eric Redwood LGR, the son of the late George Redwood. As well as the reading of the Consecration Minutes, a short history of the Lodge was given by W.Bro. S.A.L.Green, P.P.A.G.D.C together with an oration by W.Bro.The Rev, F.G.W.W.Heydon, A.K.C., P.A.G.C., A.Prov.G.M. Interesting to note that this was deemed an Emergency meeting and required special dispensation as the Lodge had no Regular meeting in December any more.
1959 to 1984 (The third quarter)
We now move into that part of the history which is within the living memory of some of the present members. Two in particular, W.Bro.F.K.J. (Steve) Cheesman, F.C.A., and Bro W.S. (Bill) Thayer, C.Eng., M.I.MECH.E., M.R.Ae.S. Steve was Initiated in 1957 and Bill in 1960. This was a time when ’dark blue’ was very much in evidence at Lodge meetings. It is clear from contemporary views the good, well informed speaking, often tinged with humour was noted at the festive board. No one could better be associated with this than W.Bro. Major Geoffrey Castle, B.Sc., PPSGW, who was dubbed at the time as being the ‘Chief Script Writer’. The compiler of this short history was also initiated during the 1960’s. I too remember these ‘lodge giants’ with the same awe as an eleven year old I had viewed the Prefects of the Upper Sixth of my grammar school!
In 1960, the Annual Dues were £4.20 and this included dining.
(Alf) Bixley was in the Chair. A totally committed Mason whose Masonic career only ended recently, he was a great supporter of the Class of Instruction and of the Preceptor W.Bro.Ernie Ansell. Alf drove the standards of ritual and decorum forward with vigour. He rose to the rank of PPSGW in the province and in 1981 was the first PM to return to the Chair for a second time.
The Lodge had a membership of one hundred and fourteen in 1964. At the Installation of W.Bro.Jack Preece, with one hundred and twenty seven present, the Lodge was truly buzzing.
W.Bro.A.H.J.L. (Alfie) Claisse, the secretary, had steered the Lodge out of the post war 50’s and now saw it through the 60’s until 1974 when he stepped down. He was a very well known Surrey mason in both Craft (PPJGW) and in the Royal Arch, (Third Grand Principal). He was appointed PAGSt.B in 1961 and promoted to PAGDC in 1968.
For over fifty years Redwood had been in the hands of two very worthy and accomplished secretaries. In 1974, W.Bro.R.M.Hill, the newly installed Master, was most fortunate to be able to appoint a very distinguished Mason to the vacant office. W.Bro.G.J.C. (George) Hambling, who had returned from India some years earlier after a notable Masonic career there, had now passed through the Chair of Redwood, and readily accepted the challenge. Later, in 1979, W.Bro. George was the ‘Prestonian Lecturer’ for the year speaking with great authority and experience on ‘250 years of Masonry in India: a Study in Resolved Discords’.
During 1974 we lost our link with the Redwood family when our Honorary Member W.Bro.Eric Redwood LGR, son of George Redwood, passed away.
This period of our history was nevertheless strengthened by a number of other family ties. John Hill (1959) and his brother Ronald (1960) were initiated into Redwood following in the footsteps of their father, William, who became a member in 1912. Sadly, Bro.W.R.Hill had to step down from the Senior Warden’s chair in 1934 and passed away a year later. Both sons went through the Chair, however, and John went on to be a very successful DC for some years. He loved to wear an old well worn pair of white kid gloves which had belonged to his dad.
Another family relationship with Redwood had also begun with the initiation in 1950 Ronald Hawkins. Ron, a school master, passed through the Chair in 1962 and showed a remarkable grasp and enthusiasm for the Ritual. He became the DC in 1968 and lead from the front. What a joy it must have been for W.Bro.Ron to be invited by the Masters in 1970 and 1976 to Initiate his two sons, firstly Nigel and then Adrian into the mysteries and privileges of Freemasonry.
It was in 1976 that Redwood sponsored Lamborn Lodge No.8733, our fourth daughter.
Of note on the wider scene during this period of our history, Redwood had joined the list of Double Patrons of the Royal Masonic Hospital, received the 250th Anniversary commemorative Jewel for the Master’s collar and contributed £3500 to the PGM’s Surrey Festival for the RMIB.
A brother who had Honorary membership conferred on him at this time was W.Bro.C.J.Webb, PPSGW. Charles had for many years collected charity donations at meetings from members with a gentle but persuasive manner. All was recorded in his well known little notebook. Many a member was surprised when Charles would quietly tell them sometime later that they were now a steward of a festival or the like. W.Bro Charles was also the Preceptor for some years where his charm and determination in equal measures had helped the maintenance of high standards in the Temple. His permanent guest, W.Bro. Ernie Ansell, PPJGW, took over as preceptor after Charles’ death and the members thought it only fit that Ernie should also be granted Honorary status.
With the seventy fifth anniversary of the Lodge approaching in 1984 Redwood seemed in fine fettle. It was becoming clear to some, however, that Masonry was not insulated from reality. The weakening prosperity of the country, increasing unemployment and the perceptions of the public at large were beginning to have their effect on Masonry.
In spite of this, W.Bro.Wilf Oram, B.A., PPSGD, a retired headmaster and elder statesman of the Lodge, in his summary of the ‘third quarter’, expressed the belief that the future of the Lodge was safe in the hands of the young generation of masons now passing through the Lodge. In paying tribute to those masons who had gone before and built Redwood into such a successful Lodge he used those well known words, “Exerting those capabilities with which God has blessed them” they have made their contribution to the welfare of their brethren and the honour of the Craft.
KEY ROLES IN THE LODGE.
Before coming to the last twenty five years and the state of Redwood today, I feel that a short review of the working mechanics of the lodge might be useful.
Redwood is not just a name or collection of facts and statistics. It is the brethren at a moment in time who actually give form and meaning to the lodge. When looking at the men who over a century have been Redwood Lodge, certain individuals must inevitably be remembered and for a variety of reasons.
The Masters, having been given the highest honour that the Lodge can confer on any of its members are all commemorated by inscription on the walls of the ‘George Cowen’ Temple in Glenmore House in Surbiton. The impact of any Master in the Chair for just one year is difficult to assess from a historical point of view. What can be more apparent is the inspiration which some Past Masters have drawn from their experience causing them to go on and become such energetic and dedicated brethren in the ‘key’ offices. These brethren, having clearly won the respect and trust of their fellows, have over time become the ‘characters’ of Redwood Lodge.
PAST MASTERS AND OFFICERS IN 1984
(From left to right) STANDING: G.A.Bevis, J.B.Hill, S.A.L.Green, M.B.Felstead, R.H.Kemp, D.W.Guppy, J.R.Harwood, J.R.S.Henham, E.Ansell. A.W.C.Stevens, C.R.Stevens, D.Wallis.
SEATED: W.G.E.Oram, G.J.C.Hambling, R.L.Bevis, B.Stevenson (WM), A.P.Hawkins, A.H.J.L.Claisse, A.H.Bixley. Unavoidably absent, A.R.Perry, N F Hawkins, B.H.Probert, C.O.Miller, V.J.Reakes. and J.A.Friend.
All secretaries have probably wrestled with a core of responsibilities over the years. Telling the caterers the dining numbers and what to eat to please everyone, finding time to write minutes, answer correspondence and fill in returns. Over the years, the storage of an increasing amount of historical material and some valuable artifacts has presented difficulties. Since the 1960’s, with information technology and communication seemingly developing at an exponential rate, the expectations of the members have also increased. This has had to be addressed by the secretary.
Not personally witnessed, of course, but only assumed, the ‘modus operandi’ of the original secretary, W.Bro.William Rayner and probably repeated as far as W.Bro.George Hambling in the 1970’s, was likely to be quite similar. Naturally, the volume of work increased in proportion to the number of members. It was the individual characteristics by which these men are remembered.
By the beginning of the 1990’s, only three secretaries had served the previous sixty eight years. In 1991, George Hambling stepped down although he continued to drive up from Somerset for several years. The hot seat was taken over W.Bro.A.R. (Tony) Perry, B.A., M.Ed., PAGDC, PDGReg. who for some years had been assistant secretary to George. The minutes continued to be hand written and read in Lodge but ways were being sought to shorten meetings and allow the Opening to be later rather than earlier. These measures were being sought as more and more brethren as well as potential candidates were finding it hard to get to meetings from work. Freemasonry in general was experiencing more difficulty in recruiting against a background of harsh economic times and also an image being portrayed by some disaffected persons.
W.Bro.J.A. (John) Friend, PPSGD, now took up the secretariat and was able to bring his IT skills to bear. Typed copies of the minutes were circulated in the post with the Summons and it was now possible for a vote of confirmation without the need for them to be read out in the Temple. Technological expectations of both the hierarchy and the newer younger brethren were growing fast. Once again, in 2007 we were most fortunate to gain a secretary who has been able to push the revolution further, in line with expectations and requirements. W.Bro.G.E. (Gary) Anstead, PPAGSwdB, makes all returns to the Province and Grand Lodge electronically as well as sending out the summons, the minutes and interesting information which may have occurred in the Risings by personal email. He has overseen the building of a Lodge Website, some of which can be accessed by an interested public but serves all members. The members’ page, provided you can remember your password, can be viewed from anywhere at any time on a PC, laptop or mobile phone. Fortunately, it is still down to the individual to have learned his Ritual to ensure a good meeting.
Another very important office in the Lodge is that of Director of Ceremonies, a brother who has also often been the preceptor as well and one who can have a great influence on the standard of working. Stability in this office would normally be seen as the order of the day. It might seem strange therefore that after the Founding DC, W.Bro.F.Lockett, PPAGDC, had completed the first three years the office then rotated through twelve brethren in the next twelve years. Eventually stability was reached and between 1927 and 1952 W.Bro.Percy Waite PPSGW took the helm. Following this very long term, subsequent DC’s have mainly served for about eight years. W.Bros.D.W.Illsey, H.A.Southgate, R.Hawkins, J.B.Hill and Nigel Hawkins have seen us through to the 21st century with great skill and dedication. Finally, any Lodge Treasurer will know all about delicate balances, the effects of external financial influences and the need for prudence and stability. Perhaps not too remarkable then that over one hundred years the Lodge has only entrusted the funds to seven brethren.
The longest serving of these were W.Bros.Maj.J.E.C.Stroud, Maj.G.L.Castle, F.K.J.Cheesman and Bert Stevenson who has served the last twenty three years.
THE LAST QUARTER OF THE CENTURY.
There can be little doubt that the fortunes of the Lodge have taken a dip on the waves of destiny during the last quarter of a century. Statistics elucidate this.
There have been 474 brethren enrolled over the last 100years. During the first quarter, 251, in the second, 108 and 77 in the third. This dropped to 38 during the last 25 years.
Our membership has fallen from 70 in 1984 to 38 presently, at a steady rate. True, we began in 1909 as the 50th Lodge in the Province and now there are more than 340. Regrettably, however, the total number of Masons generally has fallen considerably in the Province over the last few decades.
In spite of this, Redwood was able to sponsor a fifth Daughter in 1988 in the name of Hale Lodge, No 9272.
At present we have a core of eighteen PM’s in the Lodge and because of recent recruitment a tranche of younger brethren who it is hoped will go on to be the bedrock in years to come. No doubt some of the PM’s will have to take on extra work if brethren are to be prepared for the Masters chair properly. In the late 1970’s this took between ten and twelve years whereas of late this has gone down to about six or seven.
After some seventy five years of history, Redwood was not finished with building traditions. The cost of Past Masters’ jewels prohibited the purchase of a new one each year so it was decided to ‘recycle’ using the small stock of those returned to the Lodge after the demise of former Masters, or on their achieving Provincial Honours. One such jewel, presented to W.Bro.W.F.Rayner in 1912 was eventually presented to W.Bro.Alf Bixley in 1960. This then passed via W.Bro.Geoffrey Bevis in 1977 and on to W.Bro.Derek Wallis in 1987. The picture shows the latest recipient, W.Bro.Mike Cadwallader in January 1996, after he had installed W.Bro.Don Withall in the Chair. Sadly, Derek is the only surviving PM from this occasion.
Although a time of contraction, members of Redwood did not stand still on progress. Masonic and particularly local charities continued to be strongly supported. The Lodge social functions expanded to include a Christmas carol evening, race nights and of late, interaction with other lodges. One bold move made by the Ladies Night committee of the early 1980’s, W.Bro.Bryan Probert, W.Bro.Roger Barrett and their ladies took the festivities to Bournemouth for the weekend. This was hailed as such a success that it is still held there, and now organized by W.Bro.Gary Anstead, W.Bro.Bob Louch and their ladies.
Past masters of the Lodge continued to receive suitable Provincial Honours for their work and efforts post Chair.
In 1993, W.Bro.George Hambling was promoted to PJGD and W.Bro.Tony Perry was appointed PAGDC by Grand Lodge in 1998. This appointment brought the total received by subscribing members to six since the consecration.
Sadly, a number of Lodge stalwarts passed away during this period of our history. Of particular note, and this year in fact, one of our long standing Honorary Members and good friend of the lodge, R.W.Bro.Philip Toler died. He was a companion of Redwood Chapter and well known to several members.
Members of the HAWKINS family who are building their own tradition in the Lodge. Left to right: Matthew (son), Adrian (Dad), Paul (son), Nigel (Uncle), Barry (son), W.Bro.Ronald, Father/Grandfather, has already been mentioned. The family association with Redwood has now reached its sixtieth year.
W.Bro ‘Steve’ Cheesman, now an Honorary Member, was Initiated in 1957 is seen here receiving his illuminated 50th anniversary certificate from W.Bro. Roy Hawker our Official Visitor. (W.Bro. Ted Venables, WM.) The second photo is of Bro. Bill Thayer, the longest standing of the subscribing members in his 49th year of membership and looking forward to his 90th birthday.
In researching and writing this short history, I can feel nothing less than pride in being a member of this Lodge. How many times have I wondered what the former members would have thought of what their successors have or have not done to build Redwood into what it is today.
“Freemasonry these days is very different to what it was even twenty five years ago. We now practice a policy of openness about what we do and why we do it and encourage our members to explain Masonry to anyone who is interested.” This was stated by The Most Hon The Marquess of Northampton in an address in September 2008. Members of Redwood can put their hands on their hearts and say that they have done their best to embrace the changes but it is now up to the newer brethren to take the Lodge forward and build on the Redwood Tradition.
THE PAST MASTERS OF REDWOOD LODGE.
1909-10 W Bro. E H Lewis, PAGPurs., PPGDC.
1910-11 W Bro. A E Shewring, PPGChap.
1911-12 W Bro. W F Rayner, PPAGDC.
1912-13 W Bro. C T Owen, PPAGDC.
1913-14 W Bro. Capt.J Wyatt, PPGSwdB.
1915 W Bro. A Laing, PPDepGDC.
1916 W Bro. W H Hills, PPDepGDC.
1917 W Bro. J A Hunt, PPAGDC.
1918 W Bro. C F Arrowsmith.
1919 W Bro. H Mitchell, PPJGD.
1920 W Bro. Col. G S Oxburgh, MBE PAGSwdB, PPSGW.
1921 W Bro. N H Rodgers, PPJGD.
1922 W Bro. W W Popperwell, PPGSwdB.
1923 W Bro. A N Harris, PPAGDC.
1924 W Bro. H A Pride.
1925 W Bro. P Waite, PPSGW.
1926 W Bro. Capt. V W Burnett.
1927 W.Bro. E Parmenter.
1928 W Bro. J J Butt, PPAGDC.
1929 W Bro. W B James, PPAGDC.
1930 W Bro. H Overton, PGStB, PPSGW
1931 W Bro. W A Stradling, PPSGW.
1932 W Bro. H G H Siggins, PPDepGDC.
1933 W Bro. Maj. J E C Stroud, PPSGW.
1934 W Bro. J A Grist, PPSGD.
1935 W Bro. H A Bennett, PPAGDC.
1936 W Bro. H J Smith, PPSGW.
1937 W Bro. Lt Col. R G Hue Williams, OBE, PPGSwdB.
1938 W Bro. C Titmuss, PPSGD.
1939 W Bro. H J Edmonds, PPAGDC.
1940 W Bro. J H Martyn, PPAGDC.
1941 W Bro. J Walker, PPAGDC.
1942 W Bro. A Hamilton.
1943 W Bro. G H Knight, PPSGD.
1944 W Bro. J Ryan, PPAGDC.
1945 W Bro. T J Crome, PPAGDC.
1946 W Bro. S V Eve, PPAGDC.
1947 W Bro. A C J Wollaston, PPAGDC.
1948 W Bro. C J Webb, PPSGW.
1949 W Bro. D W Illsley, PPAGSwdB.
1950 W Bro. A H J L Claisse, PAGDC, PPJGW.
1951 W Bro. W S Caird.
1952 W Bro. W J Blake, PPAGDC.
1953 W Bro. Maj. G L Castle, BSc, PPSGW.
1954 W Bro. E R O’Shea.
1955 W Bro. S A L Green, FCIS, PPAGDC.
1956 W Bro. E Walker, PPAGDC.
1957 W Bro. H A Southgate, PPAGDC.
1958 W Bro. L J Law, PPAGDC.
1959 W Bro. P E Alexander.
1960 W Bro. A H Bixley, PPSGW.
1961 W Bro. A T Shirley, FCIS, PPAGDC.
1962 W Bro. R Hawkins, PPSGD.
1963 W Bro. W D Walter, BEM.
1964 W Bro. J H Preece, PPDepGSwdB.
1965 W Bro. V J Reakes, PPSGD.
1966 W Bro. R G Gamble.
1967 W Bro. S F Knappett, PPAGDC.
1968 W Bro. W G E Oram, BA, PPSGD.
1969 W Bro. G J C Hambling, DSC, FRAM.FBIM, PJGD, PPSGW,
PDSGW(Bombay), PPres DB of GP (Bengal).
1970 W Bro. J B Hill, ISM, PPSGD.
1971 W Bro. C O Miller, PPGStB.
1972 W Bro. J R S Henham, PPAGDC.
1973 W Bro. A E Langstaff, ARICS.
1974 W Bro. R M Hill.
1975 W Bro. R H Kemp, TD, PPGStB, PPGStB (Kent).
1976 W Bro. D E Reeves-Tyler, DSM.
1977 W Bro. G A Bevis, PPGSuptWks.
1978 W Bro. P J Philpot.
1979 W Bro. A R Perry, MEd, BA, PAGDC, PPDepGReg.
1980 W Bro. C R Stevens.
1981 W Bro. A H Bixley, PPSGW.
1982 W Bro. N F Hawkins, PPGReg.
1983 W Bro. B H Probert, PPGReg.
1984 W Bro. B Stevenson, PPJGW.
1985 W Bro. R L Bevis, PPSGD.
1986 W Bro. A P Hawkins, PPJGD.
1987 W Bro. D Wallis, PPAGDC.
1988 W Bro. J A Friend, PPJGD.
1989 W Bro. R Barrett, PPSGD.
1990 W Bro. A R Sewrey.
1991 W Bro. J E Morris, PPSGD.
1992 W Bro. V J Cockle, PPSGD.
1993 W Bro. R S Trout, PPJGD.
1994 W Bro. M E King, PPAGDC.
1995 W Bro. M E Cadwallader, PPAGSwdB.
1996 W Bro. D L Withall, PPAGStB.
1997 W Bro. T G Shuff, PPAGSwdB, PPAGReg (Hants & IOW).
1998 W Bro. S N Sayer, BA, PPAGSwdB.
1999 W Bro. C M Kirby.
2000 W Bro. V J Cockle, PPSGD.
2001 W Bro. G E Anstead, PPAGSwdB.
2002 W Bro. M R Louch, PPAGReg.
2003 W Bro. N P Denyer, PPAGSwdB.
2004 W Bro. R S Trout, PPJGD.
2005 W Bro. D Wallis PPAGDC.
2006 W Bro. G A Bevis, PPGSuptWks.
2007 W Bro. E C Venables.
2008 W Bro. P A Hawkins.
2009 W Bro. G W Davis.
There have only been four years during which a Master has taken the Chair for a second time. All of these occasions have arisen when the progressive chain has been broken and officers have been keen to fulfill all active offices before aspiring to the Chair. A sign of the times perhaps that most of these ‘doubles’ have been during the last decade.
REDWOOD LODGE 3411 – 100th MASTER
Geoff was born in 1948 in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey. He was educated at Beverley Boys School in New Malden. His great interest outside Masonry is in military aircraft, which all began when he joined the 4th Malden Scouts Group many years ago. His first job back in 1963 was at Bentalls Garage in Kingston-upon-Thames as an apprentice panel beater. Geoff has practiced this skill to the present day but for many years he has been self employed. Geoff and Maureen, his wife of over 40, have two daughters and a son. Geoff was initiated into Redwood on the 9th May 2002 and was declared our 100th Master on the 8th January 2009.
CENTENARY YEAR OFFICERS OF REDWOOD.
Worshipful Master. W.Bro.G.W.Davis.
Senior Warden. W.Bro.S.N.Sayer, BA, PPGSwdB.
Junior Warden. W.Bro.C.E.Sparkes.
Chaplain. W.Bro.V.J.Cockle, PPSGD.
Treasurer. W.Bro.B.Stevenson, PPJGW.
Secretary. W.Bro.G.E.Anstead, PPAGSwdB.
Director of Ceremonies. W.Bro.N.F.Hawkins, PPGReg.
Almoner. W.Bro.R.S.Trout, PPJGD.
Charity Steward. W.Bro.M.R.Louch, PPAGReg.
Senior Deacon. W.Bro.N.P.Denyer, PPAGSwdB.
Junior Deacon. Bro.D.Brown.
Asst.Dir. of Ceremonies. W.Bro.A.P.Hawkins, PPJGD.
Assistant Secretary. W.Bro.M.E.King, PPAGDC.
Inner Guard. Bro.M.R.Hawkins.
Tyler. W.Bro.J.Collie, LLB, PPJGW.